Mariko is living the life of a typical Japanese college student in the 70's, spending far more of her time balancing boyfriends and part-time jobs than on her schoolwork. She finds herself ... See full summary »
A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the ... See full summary »
A surreal, isolated village sees its inhabitants gradually leave behind their mutual traditions and superstitions as they leave for the city. Among them are two cousins who love each other and who get into a quarrel with other villagers.
9th-graders Kazuo (boy) and Kazumi (girl) take a tumble at a temple in a small seacoast town in Japan. Through supernatural intervention, their minds and bodies are switched, and the result... See full summary »
Dr. Unan is asked to treat a young girl with A-bomb disease symptoms but her mother denies being in Nagasaki at the time of the bombing. Another young girl, Tokuko, asks Unan to write her a "Proof of Rape".
This tale begins in a slow and confusing manner. A young girl is being asked about a man with whom she was keeping company, as her grandmother plays a lament on a shamisen. Then the focus changes to a couple arriving from Tokyo - the woman returning to her home, the man an escapee from the yakuza. The man doesn't seem to mind when the woman sells her favours to tourists at the local bar, just as she seems to take his attentions to Yuki, a blind girl, with equanimity.
It takes until well into the second half before the story gels, and it is worth the effort to get there.
Laments accompanied by the shamisen feature prominently in the soundtrack and they illustrate the story well. Also, they sound great. The songs point to what Yuki's life would be like, had she lived in an earlier age.
There are terrific performances from most of the actors, particularly Kyoko Enami as the put-upon prodigal trying hard to do the right thing. The cumulative effect of the music, the story slowly gelling, the touching portrait of a small town drained of its fit young people and the performances makes this film, though no classic, certainly worth the effort.
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